Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released a new music video last weekend featuring a transgender man as her girlfriend.
The video for “Lavender Haze,” written and directed by Taylor Swift, was released Friday and features transgender male model Rice Ashley as her love object. and Ashley are seen lying in bed together, after which a starry sky appears on their bare backs. .
In the post that shared the video, Taylor Swift said she “absolutely loves” working with Ashley, adding that the video’s intention was to depict “a manic sleepless dream of the sultry ’70s.” The project, which already has her nearly 10 million views on YouTube, was her third music video from Swift’s “Midnights.”“ album.
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Ashley also thanked Swift for casting her for the role, calling it “an experience I will never forget.”
“Thank you [Taylor Swift] Thank you for allowing me to play a small part of your story,” he wrote on Instagram. “You are amazing and this is an experience I will never forget.It was truly magical.”
“Thank you for being an ally,” he added. “Expression is important and love always wins!”
Fans and activists praised Swift for including a transgender man in the video and for her advocacy work on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
Culture writer Ashley Spencer said transgender representation in the project was “important.”
Spencer tweeted: “Taylor Swift’s love interest in new Lavender Haze music video is transgender model and artist Rice Ashley.” Now, this expression is important,” he wrote.
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“Taylor Swift has hired a transgender man of color, Raith Ashley, to appear alongside her as his lover in Lavender Haze’s new music video. It happens when you’re against the very existence of transgender people,” wrote Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman.
Buzzfeed celebrity reporter Stephanie Soteriou said the move further challenges Swift’s reputation as a “white, staunch Republican poster girl.”
“Taylor Swift has made many political mistakes in her career, but she deserves credit for casting a Dominican transgender man as her love interest,” Soteriou wrote. “With her country’s roots, she’s a white, die-hard Republican poster girl, and the power of representation cannot be underestimated.”
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Swift previously directed the music video for her song “You Need to Calm Down,” in which she called out critics in the LGBTQ community to refer to the Equality Act, a bill centered around prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination.